1. THE GARDEN OF THE SLEEPING GIANT
This botanical garden is one of the best kept secrets of the South Pacific but a destination you won’t want to miss. With over 2,000 varieties of Asian orchids, canopy-covered boardwalks and tranquil lily ponds, this dense rainforest sweeps you off your feet, leaving you in awe by its immense beauty. Conveniently located just 4 miles from the Nadi International Airport, this botanical garden is a must-see detour if you have time to spare in between connecting flights.
2. BEACH BUNGALOWS ON MATANGI ISLAND
Just north of Taveuni lies Matangi Private Island Resort, an exclusive privately owned 240 acre island paradise, where beach front bure’s are nestled a top of white sanded beaches, surrounded by tropical rainforest and crystal clear water’s. With only five Beachfront Bure’s to choose from, each bure is carefully hand crafted with bamboo, lava rock and coconut palm thatch to achieve a harmonious balance between island infused design with modern elegance. The world class snorkeling with rainbow colored reefs and tropical marine life amidst your front door serves as an additional bonus.
3. TASTE LOCAL KAVA
When visiting Fiji, participating in a Kava ceremony is an incredible cultural experience we suggest you try. It’s an important aspect to everyday life for the locals. For them, kava means it’s time to sit back and relax. Here are some helpful tips to know before you go when taking part in a Kava ceremony. You'll be offered a “high tide” or “low tide” which really translates to: Do you want a full cup (high tide) or a half cup (low tide) of Kava? Before you receive the bowl, clap once, say “Bula!”, drink your cup in full, clap 3 times then pass off the empty cup. Don’t fret if you feel a tingling or numbness on your tongue thereafter. Kava is known to make people feel extremely relaxed. It’s a known fact that after a few high tides you’ll sleep like a baby, waking up feeling well rested and refreshed.
4. HIKE TAVEUNI WATERFALLS
Taveuni Island, nicknamed the “Garden Island” offers the adventurous at heart an opportunity to visit Bouma National Park, where one can trek through prehistoric tree ferns, tumbling waterfalls and natural water slides. The Tavoro waterfall, is a must see. At almost 80 feet tall, this waterfall is the epitome of power and strength. Tavaro Falls offers its visitors a natural swimming pool, where we highly suggest you take a dip into its cool crisp waters, and swim directly under the fall itself to find a secret cave. There is also a perfectly flat ledge next to the falls that sits a mere 20 feet high, offering up some decent cliff jumping for those who want some additional fun. It’s an experience worth trying that you’ll never forget.
5. SCUBA DIVING
With its crystalline waters and rainbow coral reefs, it’s no wonder Fiji resides at the top of many scuba divers' “Must See To Do” lists. The scuba diving here is beyond magnificent and without a doubt, Fiji deserves its title as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World”. With a variety of incredible destinations to choose from, whatever your diving style may be, Fiji can offer just what you need. From the soft coral splendor of Taveuni to the current-fed pelagic fun of the Koro Sea, the rugged untamed reefs of Kadavu or the shark diving action of the Pacific Harbor, Fiji has it all, you just have to decide what you prefer to see.
6. OPEN A BOTTLE OF FIJI GOLD
If you’re going to live and eat like the locals, you might as well drink like them too. Fiji Gold is a crowd favorite. Light and golden in color, this lager style beer tastes like a Heineken but for half the price. It has a very smooth finish, with some light bubbles that offer a refreshing crispness as you drink. This is a perfect beer to throw back and enjoy while kayaking, sailing, or laying out on a white sandy beach.
7. WAITAVALA WATER SLIDES
This natural waterslide is the definition of fun. You can slide down on your bum, go head first or dare to do as the locals and stand. But we suggest you first try sitting, since these slides are fast and pack a serious punch. With 150 feet of smooth rocked shoots and banked turns, you’re sure to be swept away. And the nearby locals are absolute pro’s, it’s almost just as fun to sit off to the side and watch them slide down standing as they bound off the rocks and slopes with ease. This little hidden gem makes you feel like a kid again, and is sure to leave you smiling from ear to ear.
8. SEA KAYAKING
Kayaking in Fiji is a great way to see the various islands and their tropical landscapes. Paddle to secluded uninhabited islands where you can bring a picnic and a twelve pack of beer, taking in the sites and sounds of the rainforest and it’s ocean front turquoise waters. Sea kayaking is a great way to get out and explore the nearby white sandy beaches fringed with swaying coconut palms and coral reefs. Its a fantastic way to cover a lot of ground in a minimal amount of time, while getting in a fantastic workout and taking in the ocean breeze.
9. ENJOY LOCAL CULTURE
To truly embrace a country and its culture, it’s best to set aside a day to live as the locals do. Take a short boat ride from Matangi Island to the island of Qamea where you can explore quant villages like the one we have shown. Togo Village was one of many villages, where you could learn about the local heritage, try its local fare, and taste the town Kava. And don’t miss the opportunity to purchase traditional Fijian crafts on your way out, like hand painted saris and beautifully carved kava bowls before you leave. Your contributions leave a lasting impression and make for great gifts to give to family and friends.
If scuba diving isn’t your thing, not to worry. Fiji offers some of the world’s best snorkeling.
As we said earlier in Tip #5, many refer to Fiji as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World” consisting of a vast network of brilliant coral reefs that surround the 300+ tropical islands. With over a 1,000 species of fish and several hundred of coral, Fiji offers the adventurous at heart a unique snorkeling experience. With over 4,000 square miles of coral reef, tropical scenery, and warm water temperatures, snorkeling can be enjoyed year round for any and all ages.